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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shaky Internet Medical Diagnoses │ Hallowe'en Tips for Pet Safety │ Salt Wars: Reduce Intake or Not?

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I had a powerful hankering for pizza.  By dark, I had consumed nothing all day but my two hot beverages I normally indulge in.

Very early in the evening, my youngest step-son Pote ─ who had gone out with his girlfriend ─ texted me; the conversation went as follows.  Keep in mind that I was watching an episode of Killjoys on my computer and was doing my darnedest to cut the chat short:
Hey I'm at Walmart do you want anything
No -- I can't think of anything.  But I do thank you!
Okay you're welcome do you have food?
Nope!  I'm wrestling with the notion of some FreshSlice pizza, but I'll probably stay home.
My girlfriend will be making chicken with some peppers tonight would you like that instead?
I'll likely eat before that.  I've only had my two coffees today -- no grub whatsoever.
We're at central would you like us to grab a couple of fresh slice pizza when were coming home?
I was interested in their XL Combo Feast pizza -- at $17, it's at least $4 cheaper than something as good at Camy's.  But there's always another day.
Do you want me to get that on my way back?
If anything since we're making dinner for ourselves we can get you 3 XL slices of pizza for only 5$ or so.
No thanks, lad, The single slices and too plain.
Okay so do you want the full box of pizza?
Aren't you walking?  I didn't notice that Tho's car was here today.
We're leaving central soon so we can grab a box if you want and what kind of pizza and no we're cabbing

No, just get yourselves back.
Are you sure?  We might just bus back so I don't mind
Get yourself back -- no thanks!
Camy's Pizza is maybe four blocks from here, but I had noticed that FreshSlice's maximum size pizza might be larger, and it was certainly cheaper than Camy's.

But I have never had FreshSlice before.

Pote's older brother Tho was probably staying at his girlfriend's home for the weekend, so the car was not here.  FreshSlice is about a mile distant from here.

At least I was to learn from Pote that he has tried FreshSlice pizza.  He likes it, but he said that the crusts are thin ─ I only like a thick-crust pizza.  Thus, my curiosity about them is assuaged and I will stick to Camy's.

Butto continue with my narrative of last evening, I had a quick bath, and then had gone downstairs to start rustling up something to eat, when Pote walked in.  He had brought me two large slices of pizza from somewhere ─ each was with a different topping.

So that became the foundation of my supper.

The kid can drive me nuts far too often, but he has a good streak.

I think I made it to bed before midnight.

My break in sleep arrived around 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m., so I used the bathroom.  But sleep was very difficult thereafter.  I checked the time shortly after 6:00 a.m., and when sleep kept eluding me and I saw that it was nowhere near, I just got up ─ dark as it was.

I spent some time working on a post at one of my hosted websites.  My younger brother Mark arrived home around 9:30 a.m. from the home of his girlfriend Bev where he had spent the night.

And then just after 10:00 a.m., I returned to bed.

I had wanted to do some local grocery shopping, but this was not to be.

I dreamed, so it is clear that I napped.  But when I arose again, there was insufficient restoration.

And with the partially sunny day that we have been having, my troublesome eyes have been responding poorly.  When they are in that state, I care not to brave the day.  I am too disadvantaged.

Mark never did take a nap, even though he looked sleep-deprived when he got home.  And then into the early afternoon, he took off for the afternoon.

By the way, I still have not heard a thing from my wife Jack since she left to take a 10:00 p.m. or so flight last Monday to Thailand.

I mentioned here yesterday that I had checked her sister's Facebook account and found some photos that the sister had performed a mobile-upload to post onto Facebook ─ I think she did it on Friday, but the images are only of the sisters' mother.

She is in a wheelchair ─ a feature Pote was unaware of.

I haven't a clue what is taking place at the time the photos were taken, but the old girl seems to be receiving some sort of honour:


But where is my wife Jack?


Do you ever use the Web to search out possible causes for anything that might be bothering you?  In other words, do you try a little self-diagnosis?

Hundreds of millions of people rely on Internet or app-based symptom checkers to help make sense of symptoms or self-diagnose diseases. The first direct comparison shows human doctors outperform digital ones in diagnostic accuracy.
Something similar was reported on back on July 28, 2015:

But obviously we don't always care to be rushing off to see a doctor for every bloody little thing bugging us ─ and the Web is right there.

I understand the sense of what these reports are conveying, but I just don't happen to have a doctor at my fingertips.


We have no pets in this household, so I don't have any to concern myself with come Hallowe'en.

But if you have one or more pets, maybe the following two articles will appeal to you ─ the second is just a reworking of the first, since it's published by the same source a couple of weeks apart:


I'll be the one hiding away ─ I'm going to stay upstairs tomorrow evening.  If either of my step-sons are going to be here and with the lights on downstairs, then they had best be buying something to hand out!


Some folks still fret over their sodium intake.

In fact, there are still health and medical specialists perpetuating the myth to keep one's salt levels low.

Just this month, this study was published:  Sodium Intake and All-Cause Mortality Over 20 Years in the Trials of Hypertension Prevention (doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.07.745).

Only the abstract is available for free to the general public, but you can still see the study's conclusion:
Conclusions  We found an increased risk of mortality for high-sodium intake and a direct relationship with total mortality, even at the lowest levels of sodium intake. These results are consistent with a benefit of reduced sodium and sodium/potassium intake on total mortality over a 20-year period.
The study's results were almost immediately contested.  Unfortunately, the refutation is also unavailable to the general public without  payment of a fee:  How Robust Is the Evidence for Recommending Very Low Salt Intake in Entire Populations? (doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2016.08.008).

Nevertheless, there is a very good article reporting on both the study and the follow-up disputation:


I don't cook at all often; but when I do, I like to be very liberal with my container of Himalayan salt.


My youngest step-son Pote actually texted me from work to offer the leftover chicken that he and his girlfriend cooked up last night, but I had already eaten and will be fine until well into the evening.

I close off now with a journal entry from 41 years ago, back when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I see that I was going to make my second visit this week to see my father Hector at the new apartment he was sharing with his girlfriend Maria Fadden at 6038 Imperial Street in Burnaby.  They had been evicted from their previous apartment due to their carousing.

In truth, I never knew quite what to expect anytime I came to see them.

The evening prior to this day's journal entry, I had gotten to bed at 7:00 p.m.
THURSDAY, October 30, 1975

I must have slept well; I did not arise till 5:00 a.m.

Tomorrow night is the major part of the Western draw, the results of which will be in Saturday's papers.

The news said that sections of various roads about the south end of the Pattullo are under water; coming home yesterday I ploughed thru water along a part of Scott half a foot deep.

I shall leave for dad's in a roundabout way at 9:30 a.m., taking the comics & bread.

I walked down Canada Way hoping to encounter Imperial; I felt very unconfident and disturbed about my unattractiveness today, as for the past several days.

Anyhow, I saw no Imperial so turned off onto Gilpin (I was compelled to stroan in brush alongside the Way).

This seemed to be availing me nothing, for Kingsway was nowhere in evidence as I walked.

Two girls in a red Volkswagen passed honking, smiling, and waving wildly at me, but I was too dejected and insecure to enjoy their antics.  I felt ─ and was ─ ugly.

Reaching Royal Oak, I chanced it and was soon aware of Oakalla.  But finally I came out onto Kingsway.  I backtracked it and found my goal. 

No one was in, so I used Marie's key.  The time was about 11:10 a.m.

Toward 12:15 p.m. came a knock; I answered and found an Indian or Mexican type fellow supposedly trying to keep an appointment with dad.  I let him in.

Fortunately, the wait wasn't too long.

Dad & Marie came in with booze and another fellow (the first was Hank, he "Brownie").  They all began drinking.

I learned "Brownie" has a bullet lodged in his arm, of recent vintage; he is attached to Maria at S.A.N.E. 

Both strangers seemed decent sorts.

But I suffered, trying to read comics; Marie was like an infection, constantly bugging me with her inane ramblings.

I drank nothing.

Supper was beef sausage, sort of mixed into a sauce of milk, mashed spuds & water, onions, and the sausage grease.  I plucked out a few sausages and had some potatoes.

I finally got away around 4:30 p.m.; Marie took back her keys.

I hope to high Heaven I can win a lottery ─ tomorrow's ─ and escape all the lousy pressures in my life; then, I would have my dreams manifest, at least the first steps thereof, and could deal soundly with all the confrontations that rise.

I feel so ineffectual and unworthy as a person; I could bawl.

Bed by 7:00 p.m.
I was eagerly awaiting the Western Lottery draw to be held the following day.

As for that section of flooded Scott Road that I had to contend with the day before, I wonder why I never wrote of it in that day's entry?

Anyway, concerning my long hike to see my father, Gilpin Street doesn't seem to reach Canada Way.  I wonder if Deer Lake Avenue has since usurped that stretch of what may back then have been Gilpin Street?

I remember the old Oakalla Prison that I came by that day, but I do not recall the girls in the red Volkswagen.  When my complexion was off, my self-esteem would hit 'rock bottom.'  Such was a period I was evidently undergoing, and even the passing attention of a couple of lovely young lasses would not lift me.

Maria had ─ for whatever reason ─ previously given me a key to the building door, and to their apartment.  But now she was reclaiming them.

I do not recall this incident of Hank nor "Brownie."  I guess my spirits were just too low ─ I never even wanted to socialize with the drinkers, and held back, aloof.

Maria would become addled when she drank, poor thing.  But in my youth, I had little tolerance of her when she was in that state.

It's interesting that "Brownie" had some sort of relationship with a woman named "Maria" ─ she and I both worked part-time for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

I wonder how that little fact of their relationship presented itself?  Whatever the case, I no longer recall "Maria."  

Anyway, I bided my time, and then finally headed on home, leaving the partiers to themselves.

And I walked all the way back to my room ─ but I didn't meander this time.  I stuck to Kingsway. 

It sounds like it was a depressing day, but at least I got outdoors and derived considerable exercise walking.

Of course, I was never to win a life-changing lottery jackpot. 
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